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Posts Tagged ‘Inbox’

UPDATE With New Info – “Changes Facebook MUST MAKE To Photo Tag Options & Privacy Settings”

February 11, 2011 6 comments

In my Post-A-Day Challenge post for January 18, 2011 – “Changes Facebook MUST MAKE To Photo Tag Options & Privacy Settings” I gave my opinion about wanting Facebook to give us more control over our photo/video tags. I’ve pasted an image of that post’s thoughts below to refresh your memories.

Clicking this image above will take you to the older post from January 18, 2011. But this is the specific aspect of that post I will be discussing in this post.

A bunch of people between Twitter and in the Comments of the original post agreed with me on the issue and my solutions. However, I personally had no way of trying to get this implemented or even making Facebook aware of our feelings on the issue until this week. This week in Toronto, and around the world is Social Media Week and all week in multiple cities there have been talks and panels and workshops about social media and the use of it from all different aspects – there’s also been a bunch of parties one of which organized by the group #GenYTO I will be heading to shortly after finishing this post.

At an event Wednesday morning called “How to be “LIKEABLE”” on Facebook” which I was hosted by Matchstick Inc. as part of their Forum Series and who generously invited me and a friend. The event was described as a couple of presentations which “explore the topics of how to garner a brand following and generate meaningful content for your online community” on Facebook and social media in general included a talk from Alfredo Tan of Facebook Canada. The whole thing was extremely interesting and I learned a lot from it but at the end I got to have a little face to face with a Facebook Canada employee. This was my chance to mention my concerns as laid out in the January 18 post directly ‘to Facebook’ and I did.

The answer I received was honestly somewhat disappointing. I don’t blame Alfredo for the answer he gave me, he is a very nice and personable guy and he was probably just quoting Facebook’s stance on the issue (I guess they have already given this thought). Basically he said it is very low on their list of things to do for a number of reasons:

  • Allowing this would ruin the ‘real time’ aspect of Facebook photo tagging and that goes against what Facebook – and social media in general – is aspiring to do. They want to give users a real time experience as well as they can.
  • If you are so worried about the wrong people seeing the wrong pictures of you, you can set it so no one can see photos you are tagged in.
  • You can set up a list of people who can see photos of you and people who cannot.

While I understand Facebook’s position on the matter from a business perspective – especially the desire to give users a real time experience. I completely agree that I do also want a ‘real time experience’ as well. However, I don’t personally care if it is real time when I am not around to be a custodian of my online identity because I am asleep but, hey, nothing is perfect. Nevertheless, it is what it is and I thought people would be interested to hear the follow up.

I think the only way to achieve the stopgap without Facebook giving us the option – and this sounds ridiculously insane, I know – would be to “Deactivate” your Facebook account when you aren’t around to watch over it. The reason why it would work is that even when you “Deactivate” your Facebook account it doesn’t actually get deleted it just sits there until you “reactivate” it. Your whole profile including pictures and friends and posts and messages is still saved in Facebook’s servers waiting for you to come back and reactivate (although it supposedly will not be able to bring everything back immediately). The reason this is completely an insane solution is because it also means that people will not be able to send you Facebook Messages (and I know A LOT of people who don’t email their friends and prefer to communicate with them solely through Facebook Messages), look at your photos, comment on your photos, tag you in posts, invite you to events, make you a Facebook Friend (if it is someone you just recently met or just joined Facebook), or do any of the other interactive things Facebook allows you to do with your friends.

The above ‘solution’ is obviously a terrible one and that’s why I put the word solution in quotes. The only reason I’m just proposing it is if you REALLY don’t want to make huge lists of people who can & can’t see your tagged photos or turn off the ability of being able to be tagged in photos entirely while still maintaining a Facebook presence that seems to be the only one right now.

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Changes Facebook MUST MAKE To Photo Tag Options & Privacy Settings

January 18, 2011 9 comments

Current Facebook Privacy Options only allow you to set who can SEE tagged photos & videos of you

In the post “Simple Things About Facebook That Need Changing!” from August 9, 2009 I talked about a number of things centered around the message inbox & events that I thought Facebook needed to change to make their users’ experience more enjoyable. I know Facebook has made changes to the inbox in late 2010 but on my account I do not have the changes implemented yet. However, as far as I know, they have not put into place the changes I suggested a year and a half ago. Either way, I have some more changes that I feel Facebook needs to make and I actually feel even more strongly about these. These changes were relevant when I wrote that first post, I just hadn’t thought of them yet. It is just as well, because I feel that with the new profile pages showcasing the 5 most recently tagged pictures of you at the top this issue has become even more relevant. The content of this post has been banging around my head for a while but over the past week I had a discussion with my friend Jonathan about this and I decided I was finally going to write about it.

The Problem, A Solution, & An Annoying Result Of The Status Quo

People’s profiles on social media sites have become hot topics recently. There have been stories and articles about people caught cheating on schoolwork, people not getting hired, people getting fired from jobs, people being evicted, and even getting caught lying in attempts to avoid national conscription. It is obviously very important to have a handle on the privacy settings and options of our profiles on social media sites like Facebook. One of the major issues I have seen with Facebook specifically is in the options available to us to control pictures and videos being tagged on Facebook. Currently, we are only able to (as shown above) decide who amongst your friends, network, and the general public can see the photos and videos in which you’re tagged. We cannot, however, decide who can actually DO the tagging of us on Facebook. If we are friends with a person on Facebook, they can tag us in any picture or photo or video they please. This is something that must change. Facebook must IMPLEMENT A SETTING ALLOWING USERS CONTROL OVER WHO CAN AND CANNOT TAG THEM in pictures and videos. That is, unless Facebook decides to implement my second suggestion of tag management which I will get to below.

People who have also began to use this to their advantage and most people’s annoyance are promoters and organizers of parties and events. I have begun to notice a trend of being tagged in images of flyers for events where I’m not actually in the picture and it is actually a poster for the event. It’s the new tactic for promoters of parties and events to tag us in their event posters uploaded onto Facebook as opposed to merely inviting us to the event. This serves the purpose of not only getting the information about the event out to us but it also shows up on our Facebook news feeds so everyone else we are friends with sees the event to as it is shows up as a photo that has been tagged of us. An example of this type of tagging I have taken a screenshot of below.

Event Flyer uploaded & tagged on Facebook as if it was a real photo.

One of the most ironic things about the picture is that the person who posted this event advertisement and tagged all those people so doesn’t want his privacy compromised that he doesn’t have his full name on Facebook. Instead he prefers to remain on the site only identified with the last name “Br” which are the first two letters of his last name. I also chose his name to hover my mouse over to highlight what they are tagging. Cyrille Br is a guy, he is definitely NOT that model.

Another Solution

The other solution is somewhat close to the first one in that it allows more control over who tags you and where you are tagged. This method, however, acts as more of a stopgap to inappropriate tagging than a preventative. Basically, Facebook should allow you to turn on a setting where any time someone tags you in a photo or video on the site YOU GET TO APPROVE IT BEFORE IT GOES PUBLIC.

No longer will you wake up and find out the pictures from the wild party you went to last night have been uploaded to Facebook with you tagged in them and you hurriedly untag them hoping no one you know has seen them. Or, even worse, you wake up and find those same pictures uploaded only in this case 83 people – including your family, co-workers, and superiors – have already commented on them (or even worse, maybe it’s the phone call from your outraged significant other, parent, or grandparent that woke you in the first place).

Personally I like this second solution better than the first as it is just one click solution from the user standpoint and we won’t have to start dividing friends into lists of who can and who cannot tag us. It also means we won’t ever have the problem of thinking we can trust someone not to tag something inappropriate only to find out way too late that we really can’t. Removing them from the ‘trusted’ list at that point wouldn’t really help in the here and now.

Those are my solutions to the problem, what do you think?

Simple Things About Facebook That Need Changing!

August 9, 2010 2 comments

I am not writing this post about Facebook privacy. This is more about the user interface of Facebook and how I feel they can make it more user-friendly.

I was, as usual, on Twitter today and a friend of mine tweeted asking:

How much spam do you get in your Facebook inbox? Or am I the only one who gets all this crap?“.

I responded that of course she was not the only one who gets all that crap. The question brought to mind a realization I had about Facebook’s Message Inbox deficiency a little while ago. The deficiency being that you can’t search for anything in your Inbox aside from messages from friends. This means that all those messages you get from events and groups of which you aren’t a friend of the creator or organizer are impossible to search for by name. This is something Facebook needs to fix in my opinion.

One other thing that I think helps contribute to Facebook spam is the fact that even after a Facebook event has occurred the organizers of the event can still access, and send a mass message to, everyone on the guest list. This means that if you have any events in your past events listing that you just clicked the “Not Attending” button when you decided to RSVP – or even never clicked anything and they’re still “Waiting for a Reply” – the organizers of that event have the ability to mass message you at any time of their choosing until you click the “Remove from My Events” link at the bottom of the event page. Facebook needs to add an optional setting at the very least that if you click “Not Attending” or never reply that it should automatically delete the event after a given amount of time.

The reason why I say the setting should be optional and why I say it should be after a given amount of time is because I believe there ARE benefits to having the list saved for both the people invited and for the people who organized the event. As well, even the benefit I see for the organizers is really also a benefit for the invited people (whether they attended or not).

    Benefits to the invited people:

– They can keep track of what events they have been to and where/when it was. Sort of like a journal of things you’ve done. (Assuming you don’t click Attending and then don’t show up).
– They can, after the event, have an easier time finding a new friend they met at the event on Facebook assuming that person was invited to the event.

    Benefits to the organizers (not including ability to spam the invited 6 months to a year later)

– They can send out a survey and see what people liked & did not like about their event and then try to improve on it in the future.
– They can offer people to join a group for photos/videos from the event or send them a link to the same offsite.

But like I said before there should be a termination period for the time you are listed in an event and event should be eventually deleted off your list. At the very least the ability for people to send messages to the attendees of an event a year ago should be removed so we don’t keep getting these spam messages.

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